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Archive for the ‘Events’ Category

Froth & Rind and the 60’s Photo Exhibition Review

In Events, food on June 25, 2017 at 1:33 pm

After a visit to the excellent Goddards Vet Clinic to pic up a new cat carrier after our cat bust his last one my partner and I wanted to grab some lunch. Not gripped by any of the wares on the little Orford Road Saturday market we decided to give Froth&Rind a try.

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So this little cafe is simply kitted out and the menu seems to be predominantly craft beer (I imagine canned/bottled), coffee and toasted cheese sandwiches (I imagine Froth&Rind&Hops is a bit unmanageable). They do have a few other things on offer.

May partner and I decided to go for a classic chedder cheese and onion pickle toastie. No diet coke in this classy place, but Fentiman’s Lemonade for me and coffee for my SO was fine. Sadly I was so hungry by this time I’d eaten the food before I thought of a photo! While the bread wasn’t as great as the toasties in Central cafe (being your own bakery) the filling was so ample it spilled out (yay for napkins). But hey, Central is a bit more pricey too.

It was warm indoors so we sat out front being all continental. Fortunately there no smokers about, although the yummy mummy coming out with a crying child in one hand and a tiny coffee in the other had us laughing with “I’ll buy you some brie later, sweetie!” Ah, you know when you’re in the village…

Not much of a review I guess, but when we’re next in the village I’d go back for more. A little later in the day and a toastie with a beer sounds a great way to spend an hour.

Since we were in the area we dropped into Vestery House Museum to see their 1960’s photo exhibition. There are lots of great pictures of the area, many of the usual local landmarks. I liked one of the Priory Court Estate as you can see the old Walthamstow FC ground where my home is now. There were also lots of newspaper clippings and other ephemera. As public transport users we particularly enjoyed the bits about the opening of the Victoria Line, and the quotes of locals wondering who would want to use it! The exhibition is free and well worth 15 minutes if you’re in the area.

 

May Day at Lloyd Park

In Events on May 1, 2017 at 6:16 pm

I’ve never quite made it to the May Day event at the park, even though it’s near where I live. And with the grey skies this year raining on me and my partner on our way to limp sandwiches at St James street Costa I came close to missing it again. But my other half wanted a walk so we strolled over for a look.

When we got there to the large back field it had not long officially started but there were well over 100 people there, many with small children. We were immediately drawn to the Maypole where organisers were organising many children into holding ribbons and dancing around.

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Dancing around the May Pole

Yet again I’m impressed at our community’s determination to go out and have fun no matter the weather.

It was not as busy an event as the Garden party but there was a long line of stalls around the outskirts of the field.

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More fun than the Fyre Festival!

We gave the inflatable slides a miss and started at the other end. There were many food stalls which at 12:30 were already getting business.

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Yay, Chips With Dips is back!

As you can imagine, we rapidly regretted the Costa limp sandwiches.

Chips with Dips is back in service with a revamped van. I hope to see them at other local events. Giggly Pig from the Farmers Market was there and many other food stalls.

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Love this hot dog stall’s branding.

Speaking of dogs we were far to early for the dog fancy dress pageant but there were loads of pooches socialising. We enjoyed a happy 5 minutes watching people try and persuade their dogs around the obstacle course. Adorable unintentional comedy.

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Doggie training

It was a nice community event and it was great to see the Friends of Lloyd park getting a lot of attention. Well done to all involved.

History of the Granada/EMD talk

In Events on November 20, 2016 at 4:44 pm

So last weekend my partner and I went to a smashing talk by Nigel Pitt, a member of the CTA (Cinema Theatre Association) at Mirth, Marvel and Maude. It was held in what was screen 2 in the old cinema (small one on the left). As we’re long time McGuffins members (my partner was one of the founders) we were really keen to go see the state of the cinema.

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There’s now a little bar at the back! Note the mix of wooden benches and original seats.

We filtered in with about 20 people; mostly CTA and local history buffs, I’d imagine. We had some time while the equipment was still being set up so I took the opportunity to have a nose around. Back between the McGuffins original protesting at the restrictive Odeon sales covenant and at the UCKG we were a film club. We would show art house and foreign films in either screen 2 or 3 every month. So it was eerie being back there after so many years.

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The wooden benches look like they have been recovered from a church. Just visible is the carpentry on the feet to make them work on the sloped floor!

Obviously this is not the main auditorium where all the most beautiful architecture is but a lot of the ceiling plasterwork is still in place.

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It was dark so many of my phone camera photos don’t show the detail. This well lit shot reveals the lovely ceiling detail.

The seating was a mix of old cinema seats (original to the EMD I suspect) with some wooden benches in the middle rows. We opted for the padding of the old flip down seats.

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The age of the flip seats is clear.

The Mirth is showing some films as one-off events in this screen. That night they had a showing of ‘Saturday Night Fever’. It’s not exactly commercial cinema but if they achieve a Prince Charles lever of offbeat underground cool (or even, a modern day Scala) then the ‘stow could have a real success story on its hands.

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Nigel had a great collection of old photos to illustrate his talk.

Nigel’s talk started with a potted local history of local cinema in the area up to the construction of the Granada in 1933. This was important as it revealed the scale of the building; it effectively double the number of cinema seats in Waltham Forest (as it is now) by a claimed 3,000 seats (actually 2697). It was a more upmarket than the competition and would have all afternoon shows with films (the first film shown was ‘Splinters’), live organ recitals.

The talk continued walking through its history, making especial note of architectural changes such as the changes due to V1 doodlebug blast damage (the front room was used as a make shift morgue). The change from film to live music in the 50’s and 60’s as TVs became common place in the home (with the obligatory list of famous acts who played here). And on through the Odeon years, the EMD and the McGuffins fight against the UCKG.

Then we had a talk by Mr Hardcastle (sorry, I didn’t get his first name). He was dressed in the elaborate uniform of a cinema commissioner and had been welcoming people as they arrived at Mirth, Marvel and Maude. He talked about the role of the commissioner and how they told people of the showing times (no interweb back then!) and whether there were free seats in the current showing.

At the end the CTA guys had a whip round for local charity Heat or Eat. We got to have a lovely chat with them afterwards. My partner’s parents are CTA members and the association does a lot of work preserving these lovely old buildings as modern places of entertainment.

I really hope that one day soon the main auditorium will be recovered and they can do the same talk in a majestic space. With an organ recital.

 

 

Small Wonder exhibition, Hoe Street

In Events, music on September 11, 2016 at 2:54 pm

I love me some music history. Not classical or jazz, but I’m an old rock and metal fan and that takes in punk too. So I really enjoyed reading in the E-List about how Pete and Mari Stennett started Small Wonder Records on Hoe street in the late 1970’s. So today after a slap up Sunday lunch at Chequers my partner and I headed 0ver to the small shop along from Central Parade which the council formerly used for pop up businesses but it now an exhibition dedicated to the ‘Stow’s most famous record shop.

They even have a recreation of the shop sign!

They even have a recreation of the shop sign!

The exhibition covers the walls and is wonderfully curated chronologically, with years stencilled on the walls. There is loads of ephemera which I assume was collected from many of the shop’s old customers (the exhibition’s thank you list is long). There are record covers, clips from music magazines and fanzine covers. Interspersed are recollections of customers, both local and those who bought mail order. As well as launcing the careers of Bahaus, The Cure and giving a boost to many others Small Wonder also sold records around the world.

The center piece of the exhibition is a recreation of the shop itself. This was way before my time but I have to wonder if the smell of cigarettes is missing! But it did take me back to similar shops I went to in my teenage years.

The exhibition is on to the 18th September and is a wonderful telling of a beautiful, creative story from the Stow’s history.

Stoneydown Folk Festival

In Events, music, Uncategorized on June 19, 2016 at 8:12 pm

After a nice lunch this Sunday my partner and I headed to Stoneydown park which is near where we live. Previous festivals have either had blazing sun or grim rain but this year seemed to be a compromise of warmish overcast.

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A good turnout

We had a bit of a wander around. The music was nice, but not a genre I’m a fan of. There were many craft stalls around. We bought some Stow themed cards off local artist Farah Ishaq. She was raising money for her Masters degree she is about to start at the University Of London. Alongside her stall were various soft goods, textiles and other printers. “The home of those who make and create” indeed.

Speaking of local creators the Wildcard brewery provided a bar. A pint of Queen of Diamonds went down well as we sat and people watched.

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Ukulele band

My partner observed that there were very few teenagers about. Lots of young families but fewer established families. With the surrounding Warner estate being mostly flat I guess many families move out of the area when they have more than one child.

Before heading off we went to look at the food vans which had been cleverly located in the neighbouring school grounds. My partner enjoyed some chips from the local chippie van Chips n’ Dips. Nom nom.

I’ve always loved how the park is used by a lot of the local community. The annual festival seems to be the pinnacle of this and I hope it encourages more locals to make use of this nice little space.

Walthamstow Garden Party

In Events, food, music on July 18, 2015 at 6:43 pm

Well the council and the Barbican had such a roaring success last year they went and did it again. My partner and I got to Lloyd park at 12:30 as we did last year and yet again avoided the queues. Which was great as when we left at 18:00 the line of people coming in had snaked down Forest Road, Winns Terrace and could be seen snaking off down Winns Avenue!

The weather was perfect, warm with a nice breeze. We had a look in the William Morris shop and the craft stalls out front first. Had a nose into the local food stall tent and said hi to the guys from Forest Wine. Then wandered down to the food stalls where we fueled up for the day on fish dogs and chips while watchig an African dance troupe in the main marquee.

East African Dancers

East African Dancers

We had a nose in the community tents, avoided getting roped into volunteering (hey, I help the McGuffins!) and then settled on the little hill to watch music, with a nice cold lager in my hand. There were a children’s choir and a steel band and then the Walthamstow Massive group who made me very happy with an excellent rendition of ELO’s ‘Mr Blue Sky’.

Frederick Bremer Choir

Frederick Bremer Choir

Actually there were *loads* of kids and we saw lots of things put on for them. Looked like a really good day out for families.

At the North entrance was a well organised bike park.

At the North entrance was a well organised bike park.

Anyway we had a look into the artists studios which was cool. Bought some Xmas cards from Sprankenstein. It looked to us that there were a lot less studios than there used to be, sadly.

Anyway we wandered back into the local produce tent and got fruit and veg juice from Moju. We settled under a tree in the gallery gardens and had a bit of a snooze before a final, slow wander. I love the facilities in the park and the large play space for kids.

Eventually we felt tired so ambled off home, but we’re looking forward to next year’s big party in the heart of Awesomestow.

A yoga workshop

A yoga workshop

The big tent behind the food stalls

The big tent behind the food stalls

Lots of things to try!

Lots of things to try!

Good news from the Happy Meter!

Good news from the Happy Meter!

 

Tokarska Gallery

In Art, Events on April 10, 2011 at 6:31 pm

So  a few weeks ago I was walking down Forest road and I noticed one of the shops opposite the Pretoria junction had been repainted, with the words ‘Tokarska Gallery’ on it. While closed I had a peek through the windows and saw that indeed some noble nutcase had opened a venue for art on Foresat road!

A quick google revealed that the gallery had been opened by an artist who had once lived locally, Nadiya Pavliv-Tokarska. Last week I had a chance to drop in and view the first exhibition of her own work.

Most of her work consists of fascinating portraits of London streets, mostly around Liverpool Street. They seem to quite inpressionistic and have a photo like quality of not being quite perfect (like slightly out-of-focuse street furniture in the foreground). There were some other works such as one of her studio.

I’m very surprised at the location. It is very near Blackhorse Road station but has no free parking around it. Chatting to the lady there (the director Alexandria Kenna, according to her business card) I found they had a four year lease. Hopefully this got them a very cheap deal making the business sustainable. Maybe this makes the venue more valuable than being on Hoe Street or the unfashionable bottom end of the high street?

Regardless, it’s well worth dropping in for a view if you’re in the area.

Pictures can be seen on their website.

Mark Thomas at the Standard

In Events, music on April 1, 2011 at 9:04 am

So last Wednesday was my birthday and my lovely partner took me to see the Mark Thomas gig at the Standard. The gig was to benefit the Fire Brigade Union and was sold out.

The opening act was  stage magician Ian Saville who made Left wing jokes out of his tricks, which was a great spin and really suited the audience. He also did a very funny ventriloquism routine with a picture of Karl Marx.

Then up was Mark Thomas. He did a very animated, lively routine for about 45 minutes. The core of this was talking about research for his new book, ‘The People’s Manifesto’ where he asked audience members at gigs for policies. There were many mad ones and some genuine genius examples. He also talked about religion and his family with a joke about the cohesion and camaraderie of left wing politics getting the biggest laugh of the evening. After his set he was presented with a thank you framed picture of him at a protest, which I think was a very nice touch by the organisers.

And finally there was a very political folk band. We didn’t stay for their whole set – the sound wasn’t good enough to actually hear their lyrics. Although they seemed to have dedicated fans in the audience.

Overall it was a great gig and it’s nice to see the Standard do other things apart from tribute bands!

London Gardens 2010 in Walthamstow (part 2)

In Events on June 30, 2010 at 2:13 pm

So after the Martyn Cox garden we went over to the next street, Maynard Road, to see the garden of Don Mapp (http://www.donsgarden.co.uk/).

The first thing you notice is that the front of the house is adorned with plants. Not many houses will have carrots and strawberries growing on the front wall! The front garden is oriented to vegetables and herbs, with the railings to the adjoining property doubling as a long pot holder for herbs. The front garden path also has fetching relief shapes in the concrete.

The back garden is a lot more spacious than the previous garden we visited and with most of the plants around the outside of it creates a much more open space. There is a small spa pool which has a bordering mosaic with compass points marked in it, like it is one big garden ornament! There is a small coi pond which is very pretty and there are of course lots of plants, with quite a few exotic looking ones.

Wall garden

Plants grow right the way to the top of Don's house!

Don's front garden

Don's front garden has lots of edible foliage!

Spa pool

The spa pool also has the feel of a 'water feature'. You can see the openess of the garden past it.

Plants

An example of the exotic mix of plants.

‘London Gardens 2010’ in Walthamstow (part 1)

In Events on June 29, 2010 at 9:34 am

So this weekend was the London Gardens event run by the National Gardens Scheme. The event means lots of privately owned gardens across London open to the public for a small fee which all goes to charity.

So avoiding the Sunday World Cup match my partner, her mother and I headed over to the village. First stop was Brunswick Street where we viewed the work of famous urban gardener Martyn Cox. He has written books about any small urban garden can be a big success.

He’s certainly managed to make his 30ft x 15ft back garden a wonderful place. As well as a small patio there is a lovely shaded footpath down the middle bordered on one side by a railway sleeper wall. Down the end is a small green house and lots of pots mounted on some old wooden steps. There’s even a small, near hidden pond with a plastic duck. Everywhere there are a massive variety of plants, all very visually interesting.

We then had lovely tea and cake in their kitchen and I further admired Martyn’s work in the pot plants that densely inhabited every window sill!

Rock garden

A very pretty rock garden based in what seems to be an old sink.

Plants

The density of plants is very high. Maybe it's a metaphor for urban living? 🙂

Railway Sleeper wall

The wall to the flower bed made out of new railway sleepers (apparently recovered ones can have bitumen in them)

Pots on Steps

A clever use of some old steps leading 'over' the back wall. The shady space underneath is used for storage.

Pond

A little pond, hidden away. You can just see the little duckling on the right.